Saturday, February 26, 2011


I saw a picture on Facebook, and followed the link to one of the most interesting garden sites I've come on in a long time, Simply Succulents

Simply Succulents is a nursery and online store, among other things. They apparently specialize in succulents, and use them with an artistry that is inspirational. At least to me! I researched some more about succulents as art, and came on a Martha Stewart article along the same line. It turned out to be Simply Succulents that was featured. If you can impress Martha, you are good.

So I went outside on a warmish day, and in a sunny, thawing spot I could reach some of my succulents. I brought them in and repotted them. Babying them is my gardening fix for late winter. I have a pretty good selection myself, and want to try some ideas I had, thanks to the above. You can purchase the completed project, just the plants, or the plants plus project materials. The price is reasonable enough, given the value. I can hardly wait for my stuff to grow enough to be half that interesting. These have some new roots, after a week or so of warmth, attention and generally just not being buried in snow anymore. So I cut them and planted them in another pot, with another sedum.
Stay tuned!

This Time Last Year

Last February 25 in the afternoon, we were under siege from one of the worst storms I remember, ever. It went on until the morning of the 27th, leaving me trapped in the house for my birthday. It was one of those things that sound exciting before they start, and turn out to be a real pain. But really, we were fine, we never lost power, cable or internet.
This year is springlike in comparison. The snow is even melting a bit, although it is cold.  The earth is coming back to life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Houseplants, continued

As usual when you put in some work, you get results. I have new growth on several of my plants, my avocado and jades seem to have especially appreciated last week's attention. When a jade has nice plump leaves, you can take one off and use it to propogate a new plant. I'll take pictures and show the how-to in a later post.

A quick way to spruce up a plant with long, thin leaves uses regular house scissors. I cut off the brown edges and tips, cutting on an angle. With a palm, for instance, I hold the leaf and cut the tips off one whole side at a time. This keeps the line of the leaf correct, and makes it look better instantly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February-Winter is Passing

The sun came out today, after the latest two day winter storm. The sun feels warmer than it did a week or so ago, and it is higher in the sky. At 5 PM I am still working by natural light. And best of all, I just took the dog out, and heard birds! Isn't there some February legend about St. Valentine and birds mating? I mean birds mating in February, not birds mating with St. Valentine.

All this snow will protect the garden like a blanket, providing plenty of moisture as well. In a few weeks we'll have a thaw, and I bet I'll find a viola ready to start blooming. Then snow drops, crocuses, daffodils, spring will come rushing through the garden with all its heady colors and scents.
Just thinking about it will help me through the next snow, forecast for the day after tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ground Hog Day, Indoor Gardening

I think it safe to say the groundhog will not see his shadow today, and if I though winter might be over in six weeks, that would be good enough. Right now it feels as if it has been snowing, sleeting and just generally freezing for months. Well it has.
So working on my houseplants is as close to nature as I personally care to get today. They certainly need it. I pull off dead leaves, cut back leggy branches, and give them all a soaking, in sink or tub, depending on size.I use the hose to simulate rain, wet them down well, let them drain awhile, repeat. They look so much better, quickly. It really should be done once a week, when possible. Plants get so dry in the house over the winter. They are much more attractive after a shower. Aren't we all?